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RICS granted observer status for COP28

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has been granted observer status for this year's UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) to be held from 30 November to 12 December at Expo City, Dubai.

The institution, representing more than 134,000 professionals working in the built environment industry globally, has been granted Blue Zone access at the event. 

The Blue Zone is open to accredited party and observer delegates. It hosts the formal negotiations across the two weeks of the conference, the World Climate Action Summit, the country pavilions, presidency events and hundreds of side events, including panel discussions, round tables, and cultural events.


Observer status places RICS and its representatives at the heart of the event with crucial access to the key influencers of global climate change policy.

The event is split across several thematic days, including an urbanisation day, which will be used to rally global and local stakeholders to mobilise resources and solutions to decarbonise the built environment and investing in nature-positive infrastructure.

RICS is also working with partners behind the scenes to increase the role of the built environment at the conference.

According to the UN, the built environment contributes approximately 40% of global carbon emissions, making the industry a critical partner for achieving net zero goals. RICS, as a key representative of the industry, recognises its duty to spearhead this work and provide tools for skilled professionals to meet these goals, which up to now have not been met. RICS is developing several revolutionary new standards, guidance, and toolkits to assist the industry in supporting climate change mitigation. This includes forthcoming global guidance on Whole Life Carbon Assessment.  

RICS Chief Executive, Justin Young, said: "It is excellent that RICS will be present at the beating heart of the upcoming COP28 conference in Dubai. By granting RICS Observer Status, the United Nations recognises the importance of including the built environment - and RICS as a representative - in the global conversation on climate change.

"According to the UN, the built environment is responsible for nearly 40% of all carbon output and 50% of all extracted materials. RICS will meet with representatives from the UN, delegates from governments, corporations, and non-profits, to express the views and aims of the built environment sector and communicate its work to promote sustainability and achieve net zero. “


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